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February 17th, 2010
06:41 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Americans Coming Home

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

We're following breaking news in Haiti tonight were a judge has ruled eight of the 10 Americans accused of child kidnapping have been freed and may be on a plane headed for the U.S. right now.

Two other Americans, Laura Silsby and Charisa Coulter, remain in Haiti. The judge wants to determine why they traveled to the country on an earlier trip, a lawyer said.

The missionaries are accused of trying to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic 19 days ago without the proper paperwork.

Jim Allen, one of the accused who is coming home, released a statement:

"My faith means everything to me, and I knew this moment would come when the truth would set me free."

"I hope today's actions will allow everyone to focus again on the dire conditions that remain in Haiti. People are still suffering and lack basic necessities. Please find it in your hearts, as I did in mine, to find ways to give to those in need," he added.

"For those whose cases have not been resolved, we will continue to pray for their safe return."

Do you agree with the judge's decision? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight we've also uncovered new details on the Alabama professor accused of gunning down three of her colleagues last week.

Another violent incident from Amy Bishop's past has surfaced. It has to do with an incident at an IHOP Restaurant in March 2002 in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Tom Foreman has the details in tonight's Crime & Punishment report.

And, David Gergen joins us with an Insider Briefing on the war in Afghanistan. He met with high-level Obama administration officials today about the fight against the Taliban.

Join us for these stories and much more at the top of the hour. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Americans must understand not to enter another country and expect to have your way, children must be protected around the world regardless of what ones good intentions might appear to be. There is no way I would expect to go into a country under any circumstances and walk away with children without birth certificates or proper documentation, that's just plain suspicious to begin with.

    February 18, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  2. baptist

    I'm so excited that they are able to come home and be with their families as well as their church families. We have all missed them so much and can't wait to see them again! Thank you God! 😀

    February 18, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  3. Rabakkah

    @ Rocky - I'm with you on this issue. Arrogance is the word for these people. They took it upon themselves to go over there, they should have spent their money for their defense and return to the states.

    That Laura woman reminds me of an old supervisor I had before, she thought she knew everything and had the tongue of a cold blooded snake lyer. She will get what her hand called for and the others too.

    February 18, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  4. bob

    Those obviously well-intended American missionaries, while perhaps misquided, are still Americans. The U.S. is in complete control, the Haitian government is somewhere between corruption and complete chaos. And yet, our State Dept. let them rot in that jail for weeks citing only Haiti's "sovereignty".
    Makes you feel good about traveling overseas, doesn't it?

    February 18, 2010 at 5:57 am |
  5. A. Smith, Oregon

    This is a case of heavy pressure and American interference with Haitian's Judicial system. Does anyone actually believe US Justice would release 11 black men and women charged with kidnapping 30 white children in America so they could fly out of the country? All of these kidnappers should be sentenced to long prison sentences in Haiti.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  6. Doris

    Please donot let those people go. The 10 are part of a larger group of kidnappers. We must keep them until the truth comes out. The children in America and anyother country will never be safe. There were so many unanswered questions. For example, where is the orphanage that this lady ran in Haiti? Where was the orphanage in the Dominic of Republic they were going to take the children?
    Please help our children they don't deserve to be raped, sodomized, or used as slaves.
    KEEP THE TEN IN THE PEN!!!!!!
    They had something up their sleeves besides their arms.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  7. john

    i guarantee that if the haitian government is pressured into checking how many of their kids have been taken through the dominican rep. through other nations our two americans would be free by tomorrow morning people get real !

    February 18, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  8. john Laforme

    I am pleased that the judge saw fit to release eight of the ten but ten out of ten wood have been much better

    February 18, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  9. john

    nothing against the haitian people god bless and sorry for the trouble they're going to but i think it was very hypocritical of them for holding these americans and still the two left people should really dig into how many children already have been taking across the dominican border from european governments and god only knows where too, i hate when people make us look like were the bad ones !!!!!!!!!

    February 18, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  10. B.C. Pool

    Whiile I agree that these missionaries were out of their league regarding the complexities of adoption, adoption laws, etc., it is obvious their intentions were to help the children. Even the parents of the children stated they didn't know how they would be able to feed the kids if they stayed. It would be a travesty of justice to keep them in jail.

    February 18, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  11. Kieran daly

    These strange Americans are highly suspicious and deluded. The judge did a good job to boot them out.

    February 18, 2010 at 1:13 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    No I do not agree with the judges decision. No matter in what terms they claim to have done what they did ( they do not deny it ) they seem to think that christian morality overrides the law but in this type of case its the law that is the appropriate morality, not their excessive religious extreme views.
    They are as guilty as hell and should be punished accordingly.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 18, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  13. Jeanne Keller

    We are thrilled that Drew is coming home. He is a man of character with a heart of gold. When someone needs help he is at the front of the line to offer his assistance. The people that know him have backed him 100% because we have confidence that his only motive was to help Haiti following their devastating earthquake. Only people who don't know the character of this man have tried to discredit him. We thank God for his release and to all who have had a part in bringing him home.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  14. Carol

    Those Americans "missionaries" just need to leave Haiti, and let major rescue organizations deal with these issues. So far, the "missionaries" have been a waste of tiime and energy in the face of immediate issues.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  15. Janice

    The two American Baptist missionaries detained in Haiti are disgusting. How can anyone take 'children' when they have been told by two governments they cannot do this and then smile and tell interviewers that they are putting their hands in God and everything was being done for a good reason? If I declared I was a religious 'do gooder', robbed a bank and then told the world I did it to give money to the poor, would I deserve to be excused?

    February 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  16. Jed Brown, Utah

    Jim Allen quoted a bible verse in a way that extremely out of context. Jesus was talking to Jewish people who were held accountable to the law. The context is salvation through Jesus being the Christ as opposed to the law. (John 8:31-33).

    Context is extremely important in the bible! I am concerned that the people who were set free could think they can get away with breaking the law because of the belief that they can justify their biased perspectives in the name of Jesus.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  17. Tammy

    Their release is long overdue. It was ridiculous from the start that they were ever jailed.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  18. Ann Baker

    I prefere not to judge these people too harshly. They obviously made some type of mistake, but I'm happy they are free and that our government still helps Americans who are in need. I believe they really meant to aid Haiti. There are many wonderful Christians organizations who are always present helping the Haitian people, even before the earthquake.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  19. matt

    Kim, my wife and I were just there to help and the three men from my church family were just wanting to help the children of Haiti,,we are to show the love of Christ,,,,,, that is all we wanted to do, we can, so we did...........

    February 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  20. sandra wells

    Missionary Jim Allen said: "Please find it in your hearts, as I did in mine, to find ways to give to those in need," he added." Is Jim referring to a monetary donation that he gave to Haitian aid ? because his trip to "help" in Haiti certainly took more than it gave, adding more chaos to deal with in the midst of chaos. Look before you leap.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  21. Rocky

    These 8 people should find their ways back to USA. They are responsible for their bad behavior. I don't understand why our government have to spent the tax payer money for the offence these people commited.... People lost their jobs, their houses and all their life belongs and then spent our tax money for that didn;t respect other country. No respect for the Haiti people.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Dr. Vishwanath Ayengar

    Despite the great devastation caused by the earthquake, it is great that the justice system in Haiti is not broken. The court has acted in a fair manner. God bless Haiti. – Dr. Vishwanath Ayengar, Wappingers Falls NY USA.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  23. Annie Kate

    Gergen's report on Afghanistan from his meeting should be interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing that. The missionaries released in Haiti – I'm not sure how I feel about it since I never understood what exactly went on or what their intentions were. I guess it will all get sorted out. The Alabama professor sounds like she needs therapy – I'm just glad my child doesn't go to that school; the teacher sounds like a time bomb waiting ot go off.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm |